The Portuguese Inland Way of Santiago extends for 205 km, in Portuguese territory, crossing the municipalities of Viseu, Castro Daire, Lamego, Peso da Régua, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Vila Real, Vila Pouca de Aguiar and Chaves. The section of the municipality of Castro Daire is 40 kms long, starting in Cabrum river stream.
This route crosses the most breath-taking landscapes of forests, agricultural and rural areas, highlighting the rich cultural and religious heritage, as well as an unrivalled natural settings.
The Portuguese Inland Way of Santiago leads you to 2 beautiful chapels located by the Paiva River - considered one of the purest rivers in Europe, where the world's longest suspension bridge was recently inaugurated - as well as across the dazzling Montemuro Mountain, where you will find charming typical villages, sheep and goat herds and amazing animal species.
Montemuro Mountain is the 8th highest mountain range in Portugal. The Portuguese geographer, Amorim Girão, described Montemuro Mountain as "the most unknown mountain of Portugal". Owner of a great biodiversity, Montemuro Mountain has an average altitude of 838 meters. The geographical diversity of the region stems from its morphology, which displays two distinct types of landscape realities: the mountain landscape, arid and bare of vegetation, traditionally fostering subsistence agro-pastoral values; and the riverine landscape, marginal to the valleys of the Douro and its tributaries, rich in waters that descend from the granite peaks of the Montemuro, flooding the landscape with green.
It lies between the Douro River to the north and the Paiva River to the south. The whole mountain range has a lot of relief and is steep practically on all sides. The mountain is populated until about 1100 meters of altitude, the villages are scattered all over the mountain, but almost always near water courses. The highest point of the mountain range is called Talegre or Talefe, at 1,381 metres of altitude.The Montemuro Mountain is part of the first phase of the national list of sites of the natura 2000 network. It is classified as a CORINE BIOTOPUS, with the designation of Serra do Montemuro/Bigorne.
Portas do Montemuro: a gateway to heavenA place of ancient passage, Portas do Montemuro is a privileged spot to observe the morphology and the landscape of the Montemuro mountain range. To the south, with steep slopes, we can contemplate the Paiva valley and see some of the mountains of central Portugal, such as the Serra da Estrela, Caramulo and Gralheira massif. Its occupation dates back to the Iron Age.
The Montemuro mountain range has a climate that allows during the summer period to preserve the green and tender vegetation for the cattle "For a little more than a month, from the first days of July until S. Bartolomeu, these inhospitable pinnacles are usually demanded by an adventitious population of shepherds driving their flocks". These flocks came from the counties of Oliveira do Hospital, Seia, Tábua, Santa Comba Dão and Tondela.
The enchanting village of Moura Morta is located in the eastern slope of Montemuro Mountain. It is one of the best-preserved villages with its granite houses in traditional design.
In terms of built heritage, it is worth highlighting the parish Church of Nossa Senhora da Apresentação, founded in the 18th century and with the current building, enlarged, dating from the 19th century. It is a baroque temple, with a single nave, which stands out externally for its advanced façade-tower in the centre of the frontispiece.The Roman Bridge used to cross the river Vidoeiro on the old Roman road that connected the cities of Viseu and Vila Real. The same connection was used to cross the Inland Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela, as well as the one leading to Fátima.The trail Trilho dos Lameiros is a short footpath that allows you to get to explore the rich landscape of the region. With a difficulty level assessed as "medium", and a length of 5,3 km at an altitude of 850 metres.
A place of authenticity and warm-hearted hospitality!
Beautifully located at the Montemuro Mountain, the bucolic villages of Campo Benfeito and Mezio are true precious jewels of the region of Castro Daire. Magical places at the heart of Mother Nature where we can still hear the inspiring sound of silence.
Embraced by Montemuro Mountain, Campo Benfeito still lives in the traditions inherited from the past. A remarkable heritage quite visible in the architecture of the typical houses built in regional granite. The tour across Campo Benfeito must include a detailed visit to the village, to the viewpoint with a panoramic view over the enchanting surrounding landscape and a refreshing walking tour to the crystal-clear river streams, where visitors can rest under the soothing shadows of oak trees and alder trees. The typical mountain mills built in granite with thatched roofs are a true must.
Situated at the heart of Montemuro Mountain, the village of Mezio is placed in a truly wild natural setting. Ervital is a biological agriculture company that produces biological teas, engaging the local community of Mezio. The streets of Mezio are narrow and winding with typical granite houses. The Portuguese Inland Way of Santiago crosses the village, namely its greenest part. The historical heritage of Mezio is quite remarkable.